Guess who's back... Jonathan Bacon returns to County Hall

“WE NEED TO REDESIGN AND RESHAPE THE COUNCIL” SAYS OUR ISLAND GROUP

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Over the next 4 weeks of election campaigning, Our Island will be putting forward a series of policy statements setting out their objectives for the new Isle of Wight Council – should they be elected on 6th May.

The group say they are conscious that Council finances are at ‘an all-time low’, so proposals are being put forward for changes that do not require great expense but which will create financial capacity to enable the Isle of Wight Council to do things.

Our Island’s primary aim will be to restructure the Isle of Wight Council to create a new body that is financially sustainable and able to operate in the 21st century. The Council was established in its present form in 1994 when local authority funding was very different.

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Jonathan Bacon, Our Island Candidate for Brading and St Helens, says:

“We need to redesign and reshape the Council. The current model simply doesn’t work. In the last four years we have seen Council Tax increase by 20% and charges for Council services increase by 25%. A lot of the money we pay goes to support out of date management structures and unnecessary bureaucracy. Each year we have been required to give more and more money to the Council and have received less and less in return.

“The last year has shown that our front line staff are key to achieving positive progress and supporting our residents and businesses. If we create a new leaner Council structure that keeps frontline staff in place while getting rid of unnecessary management and procedures, then we create capacity to enable the Council to act positively for our local community.

“An analysis of information available on the Council’s website shows that Council officers in the top 40 jobs take home salaries totalling £2,925,848.  That is the equivalent of around £75,000 each or 1488 Band D Council Tax payments. We need to ask if this represents value for money or whether that money can be better spent on more pressing needs such as helping young people into employment, supporting mental health and assisting businesses to recover after the pandemic. We will therefore start the restructuring process by undertaking a full cost benefit analysis of our Council structure.”

A key part of restructuring the Council is the need to improve Council decision making. We need a system that can make informed decisions which involve and accord with the wishes of local businesses and residents. Transparency and openness need to mean something and not just be words that are trotted out without any intention of adhering to those principles.

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Phil Warren, Our Island Candidate for Ventnor and St Lawrence, said:

“In order to facilitate informed discussion and decision making and to get away from political bickering, Council Committees should bring in experts in the issues they are dealing with as well as bringing in independent people to chair those Committees.

“We will also work much more closely with Parish and Town Councils. These bodies are much better placed to deal with many local issues, so they should be given the responsibility and resources to help them do this, as well as the ability to raise income. We must cease the recent practice of the Isle of Wight Council simply offloading liabilities onto the parishes, but failing to pass over the supporting resources.

“Councils should work with residents and, as such, take on board their views, however current consultation processes are woefully inadequate and fail to engage with people. As a result little or no information of any use is gathered and the Council generally proceeds to do what it wants anyway while claiming public support which did not exist.  We will find a better way to engage and involve our residents and businesses, and more effective ways of consulting with them.

“For these and many more reasons we will set out in the coming weeks, Island residents should vote for change on 6th May.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Bonny
Bonny
1 month ago

A Leppard never changes its spots (but may be it’s beauty regime)

ron ashton
ron ashton
Reply to  Bonny
1 month ago

What is a leppard Bonny

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
1 month ago

Mr Bacon

Unless you and all the other non-Tory candidates agree an election pact, we are just going to get the same old useless faces back again.

I’m sure that as a seasoned politician you recoginse the inevitability of that. So, if you’re really serious about change, what are you doing about it?
We need to know well before the election, so time is rapidly running out for you to come clean.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
1 month ago

the winner will be the party that

cuts council tax
cuts local government waste and unnecessary spending.
prevents building houses on all greenfield sites permanently.
introduces laws that prevent the island economy and housing stock being impacted negatively by second home owners.

prevents developers buying old farm land and building houses on it, pretending that it is a brownfield site.

prevents people moving to the island who are having the cost of moving paid for by the state and who do not have any means to support theirselves on the island without benefits.

increases police presence to remove deadbeats from the seafront areas.

Old Mike
Old Mike
Reply to  isle of wighter
1 month ago

No winners then! I can’t see anyone standing on that platform and meaning it.

ian johnson
ian johnson
Reply to  isle of wighter
1 month ago

Very well said, sir or madam; if you put yourself up, I would vote for you !

Sunshine
Sunshine
Reply to  isle of wighter
1 month ago

This is perfect! You could stand for election with ‘ideals’ like this. You would certainly get my vote Isle of Wighter.

smokey
smokey
1 month ago

most of them are ex party members and some are to blame for the floating bridge

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
1 month ago

Didn’t manage it last time so why should we vote for you this may have changed the name of the party but you have lost everyone’s trust .
There is a saying you can put lipstick on a pig but it it still a pig…….

ron ashton
ron ashton
1 month ago

For goodness sake Bacon was one of the worst councilors we have ever had and that says something.

Love where live
Love where live
1 month ago

“In order to facilitate informed discussion and decision making and to get away from political bickering, Council Committees should bring in experts in the issues they are dealing with as well as bringing in independent people to chair those Committees”

Surly this spends council money on independent experts?? This will also cost more to buy in these services.

Sunshine
Sunshine
1 month ago

Get rid of the money pit, Floating never working Bridge. This current council are haemorrhaging our money, Council Tax payments on this obvious NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE POS. Enough is enough Mr Ian Ward. It’s scandalous the amount of money WASTED. Everyone who votes in the May election, think very carefully who you vote for. The current IOW council want to concrete over the island and over populate with housing development and people which the little IOW cannot cope with. The road infrastructure and our medical services just cannot accommodate this. We need to be excempt from the current building plans the Conservatives in Westminster.

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
1 month ago

Just read Bacon’s 2016 statement re floating bridge .
May I suggest you read it Mr Bacon.
It may refresh your glowing report of how amazing it was going to be !!!!!!
And then read the comments on what the island has to pay for and put up with…
You may notice a difference of opinion….

Darren
Darren
1 month ago

First of all well done on the health kick, the apparent weight loss, you are looking very well however back to politics, I feel that you had have the opportunity to be leader before and frustratingly you and your team failed at this so I am really struggling to see what you and your party could do different this time. I vote conservative, but without sound rude/just honest , I dont like the incumbent leader, he offers no sincerity, he reads from a script and he is all talk ! This island needs a complete revival project , I am a business man, I set up several successful businesses on the Isle of Wight but now we have decided to quit the island

Rog
Rog
1 month ago

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